Home worth betting on

Home worth betting on

AN historic home claimed to be the birthplace of the first automatic tote board will go under the hammer this weekend.

English born Australian inventor and entrepreneur Sir George Julius lived at 247 High Street, Fremantle in the early 1900s, where he created the board that would ultimately be used in horse and greyhound racing around the world.

“The house was originally built by businessman and shipping agent James Lilly in the 1890’s and has a great history,” said Peter Vickridge, who was born in the home in 1948 and grew up there.

“My parents bought the home after the Second World War from my grandparents and I have such great memories of playing in all of the nooks and crannies… it has changed a lot since the old days.”

Mr Vickridge said Sir George had the prestigious role of being the assistant engineer at the Western Australian Government Railways, becoming Chief Draftsman and then Engineer in charge of tests, all under the supervision of Charles Yelverton O’Connor.

“In 1898, Sir George married Eva O’Connor, the daughter of Charles, and they rented the home,” he said.

“My mother, Betty Miller, at one time met Lady Julius who fondly relayed how she had stood in the garage holding a hurricane lamp while her husband George tinkered with leather belts and wooden pulleys while he worked on a vote counting machine that was later (in New Zealand) to become the totalisator.”

Another quirky part of the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home’s history involves a limestone wall.

“There’s a limestone cliff around two sides of the house that wasn’t actually meant to be there because my father refused to have it knocked down,” Mr Vickridge said.

“When they were building Ivanhoe Lodge next door, they wanted to knock down the cliff, but that would have destroyed the privacy of the home.

“After a long battle with the developers, my father actually bribed the bulldozer driver on the day, and the limestone cliff remains in place now.”

Shirley Hayes, who has been the proud owner of the property since 2002, said the history of the home and its ocean views were the things she loved the most.

“I love everything about the house, but glorious views over to the Fremantle Harbour are to die for, just this morning I was watching the sun glisten,” she said.

“You can see the ocean from the front and side of the house and the sunsets and city lights at night give the place a wonderful ambience.

“Personally, I love the bathroom floor and the limestone wall at the back, it gives you that real sense of history.

“We have renovated the original kitchen and put on a new roof, and with it being just a short walk to Fremantle and having the beautiful park next door, it’s a wonderful place to live.”

Selling agent Ray White Applecross sales executive Noel Rogers said the home offered a rich history and was a genuine opportunity to buy a home where a unique and world-famous product was invented.

“Gambler or not, this one is worth betting on,” he said.

The auction will be held on August 17 at 11am.

For more information contact Mr Rogers on 0409 300 600.

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